The federal crime of continuing criminal enterprise essentially targets people who engage in large-scale and elaborate drug conspiracies. The offense is a serious felony that can lead to life in federal prison. If you or a loved one is facing a criminal drug charge, be it in either state or federal court, please contact a criminal defense attorney now for help.

What is Continuing Criminal Enterprise?

21 U.S.C. 848 is the federal statute that sets forth the laws regarding continuing criminal enterprise. Per this statute, it is a criminal offense for someone to:

  1. Commit, or conspire to commit, a continuing series of felony violations of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, and
  2. Do so in concert with five or more other persons.

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act consists of two main parts, Title II and Title III. The Act essentially classifies controlled substances into different schedules, prohibits the use of certain drugs, and criminalizes certain drug-related acts.

Examples of felony violations of this statute include:

What are the Penalties?

A conviction of continuing criminal enterprise is a serious felony under the law. The sentence for the crime includes:

  • A mandatory minimum of 20 years in federal prison,
  • A maximum fine of $2 million, and
  • A forfeiture of the profits from any drug-related enterprise involved in the commission of the offense.

Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?

Yes. People accused of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise can challenge the accusation with a legal defense. A common defense is for a defendant to try and show that he/she never committed a drug violation. Defendants can also try and show that they did not act in concert with any other defendants.

Further, an accused can always challenge a charge by showing that the police acted unreasonably or even unlawfully. Maybe, for example, a police officer:

  • made false statements in a search warrant application,
  • arrested a defendant without probable cause,
  • made an arrest only after an unlawful search and seizure, or
  • coerced a confession.

Contact Black & Askerov for Help

While a defendant can raise a legal defense in drug crime cases, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced drug attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on drug-related charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!